We are all aware of the fun side of playing online casino games. The excitement, the expectations, networking and of course making money — all of that sounds tempting, and this activity sure does allow us to have fun and enjoy spending time just for ourselves. However, every Yin has its Yang, meaning that everything we find pleasurable, has its own downsides. Shadow cannot exist without light and vice versa so when it comes to gambling there are certain risks and dangers everyone should be aware of, in order to prevent getting into problematic situations and having bad experiences.
When speaking of gambling dangers the vast majority of people are already aware of the obvious ones while there are many hidden and subtle dangers that can seriously cause you some headaches in the long-run.
1. EASY ACCESS
Easy access to gambling platforms and websites as well as online casinos, sports betting, lottery and a lot of other entertainment sources is what makes it easy to get lost in the virtual reality world. Compared to traditional brick and mortar casinos, where people had to physically visit a building with a casino, modern technologies have allowed us to take part in any gaming opportunity, without having a feeling of being a gambler.
On the other hand, time spent on these websites speaks for itself — there’s no time limit for playing games or gamble, so it can easily transform into a 24-hours-a-day thing. No limit and no time regulation is what makes a dangerous loop for players, in which they can wander for a long time, and not be aware of their actions. The other problem with easy access is that it’s tempting to play wherever you are, thanks to the smartphones and apps that are perfectly designed to get you “hooked on”, meaning that it’s hard to choose to indulge in online games only from one place, your home for example.
Rather than that, when the thrill and excitement takes place, the real world around them may become irrelevant, and the main life focus can go to gambling on the go, at work, on the bus, in a car, in a restaurant, anywhere! We all see people holding their phones and scrolling through social media. Just imagine something even more addictive, with money included. Of course, if you don’t have problems with time management and self control, being able to enjoy playing games by only using your phone, is a wonderful opportunity and an awesome innovation of modern technology.
2. TRICKY WELCOME BONUSES AND TRIALS
Every gambling website has what’s called a welcome bonus that allows you to start playing, saving your money in the beginning. However, with the initial “gift”, the multiplied deposits and free bets, you also get wagering requirements, meaning that you have to obey certain rules when it comes to the number of games you must play, in order to be able to withdraw your money.
Not only that, many websites and platforms offer free trials or free versions of the games where a player can gamble with virtual money to have fun and prepare for the real games. The tricky part is–in those trial sessions, the odds are usually in players’ favor. That’s how they get the impression of doing great and being ready to go to the next level. When they start playing with their money, real money, they actually start losing, because they lack in skills, experience, or just the ability to calculate their real winning odds versus the house.
Also, sometimes you may think you’re playing against real people when in reality, you’re just playing with the carefully designed bots that almost never lose. Being aware of the fact that short-term winning doesn’t mean you’ll be winning all the time, is essential when it comes to staying grounded and not losing all the money you have. Certain tactics are made to attract as many people as it’s possible, so just keeping them in mind is the first step to having things under control.
3. VULNERABILITY OF YOUR PERSONAL INFO
To be able to gamble in online casinos, you have to make an account and link it to your credit card. However, it may be possible to get attacked by hackers, so your funds can be left vulnerable and exposed. Not only that, your account details as well as all the information you gave to the casino, can be used for various purposes.
Some countries even banned using credit cards because of these reasons, so many websites continued to work illegally while having virtual money versions that are official. The data from your preferred games, the time you are spending on the website, the money you’ve lost or won, along with other analytics connected to your account are just the regular info the provider is collecting about you so that he could predict what will attract more customers in the future.
4. DEVELOPING AN ADDICTION
When people uncontrollably start chasing their losses by gambling more and more, that’s where the red flag pops up. A big red flag. Neon. It’s easy to win and it’s easy to lose at the same time. It’s harder to see and feel the real consequences of your actions when you are not holding the money in your hand, when the money is not physically present.
Human brains are being drawn to pleasing their needs while ignoring the negative outcomes. Being stimulated by such a strong and addictive content is what providers want, so that you could keep coming back. The defensive mechanics where you put aside the negative outcome and the problems while focusing on feeding the addiction, can be very dangerous in this field. The answer is simple — you have to know when to stop. It’s only a push-a-button away, and you definitely can recognize it’s gotten serious if you start losing everything you have.
What are the first signs of addiction? Not being honest with yourself and others about how much time you’re spending online is a first warning sign that may seem like it’s not important, but it actually shows that the problem is already deep inside our habits. The other thing to pay attention to are your mood changes/swings. If you feel depressed, anxious or angry when you’re away from your online gambling account, you should definitely seek help. Not to mention other far more serious indicators like borrowing money from your friends or family, selling your goods, or neglecting responsibilities.
But, there’s always a way out! It’s possible to enjoy spending time and money and enjoying the thrills of playing, there just has to be a limit for everything. The rules you make for yourself are crucial for your mental and financial stability. Decide how much money you’re willing to invest and lose, as well as the amount of winnings per game, time limit and the number of breaks. Some websites can also help you with the right selection of games and self blocking softwares that can help you play it smart!